HURRICANE FLORENCE: RAIN, RESILIENCE, AND RECOVERY
A Storm Forms
Hurricane Florence was a storm of epic proportions. It dumped water in feet and made the nation realize that a calm start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season means nothing when one comes ashore.
In the midst of this devastation, our team worked around the clock to respond to the unfolding crisis and ensure our customers remained operational and recovered from whatever came their way.
By the numbers, we had thousands of covered locations that were potentially impacted by the event. Hundreds saw the worst of the storm system. Several dozen called us and we delivered physical resources around the region, including generators and fuel.
The aftermath of Florence is far from over. As of today, September 19th, some rivers haven’t fully crested. Many people still don’t know how long it will take to restore power or return home. We will learn more in the coming weeks but for now, here’s an incomplete history of the business interruption report after Hurricane Florence and Agility Recovery’s response.
Where Preparation Meets Practice
Before Hurricane Florence even made landfall, we had begun assisting customers. Some businesses, especially those with fast recovery time objectives (RTO), asked us to pre-deploy generators to their facilities.
Deployment before the storm can be a helpful but tricky task. Having a generator on-site when fast winds rip through your town risks potential damage to the equipment. Some businesses, like food distribution centers, rely on refrigeration systems so they need a steady connection to power. A generator on-site before a potential interruption allows them to quickly restore electricity and save inventory if the power is cut.
Before landfall, we also appeared on The Weather Channel urging businesses to prepare for the days ahead by taking proactive measures such as calling an electrician and ensuring multiple methods to contact employees. Over the past 30 years recovering businesses, we’ve learned many small steps that can make a tremendous impact recovering from an interruption.
The Weather Channel – Hurricane Florence September 2018 from Agility Recovery on Vimeo.
Water, Water Everywhere
When the storm came ashore we had dozens of customers on alert status and others already declaring for resources.
According to Ryan Maue from weathermodels.com, Florence dropped about 11 trillion gallons of rainfall on North and South Carolina. Coastlines eroded, rivers flooded, and roads were swallowed by water.
Customers called our hotline from around the area, often requesting generators and mobile units to help their businesses and community recover from the storm.
Our operations team centralized leadership and worked around the clock to field declares and deliver resources.
We also posted video updates throughout the storm as we tracked its devastation and mobilized our operations team to recoveries.
After the worst of the storm passed and evacuated Carolinians began returning to their homes and offices, we prepared for a new influx of declares and recovery needs.
Our operations team remained ready to deploy additional resources, like mobile units, while serving the customers already using generators from us.
As many on the East Coast prepared Hurricane Florence, the rest of the world did not slow down. Other disasters sprouted up around the country.
Although our operations team was focused on the needs related to Hurricane Florence, we remained prepared to respond to other simultaneous events affecting our customers coast to coast. After last year’s back-to-back-to-back historic hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we implemented a series of new initiatives, investments and expanded capabilities to further reinforce our scalability during simultaneous regional events occurring in different geographies.
For example, on September 13th, at the height of Florence pre-landfall anxiety, we responded to customers affected by a series of dangerous gas explosions in Boston.
The same week a tropical disturbance brought massive amounts of rain to southern Texas. Although never classified as a tropical storm or hurricane, the storm system brought nearly as much total water to Texas as Florence did to North Carolina. In response, some customers chose to pre-deploy generators and others put us on alert during the rainfall just in case.
After the Rain
As devastation came to the coast, our customers called us. They trusted our expertise and promise to deliver. It means the world to us that we can be a steadfast source of hope during uncertain times.
At a basic level, we deliver physical resources that are critical for businesses to recover after interruptions. But after an awful day, a generator isn’t just a power supply. It’s a sign that you’re not alone. That you have us no matter what happens.
These catastrophic events can be a catalyst for reflection and amidst all of the difficult days, we are grateful for that reminder.
Thank you to all of our customers and partners for your continued trust. We will always be a call away.